Is It Dandruff, Or Is Your Scalp Just Dry?

Nothing gives us the ick more than when our scalps go dry and flaky. Yeugh! It’s the pits, especially when you can’t seem to shake the itch. While you might feel icky when you’ve got a flaky scalp, rest assured – over 50% of adults worldwide suffer from it at some point in life. Well, suffer from dandruff – we’re almost certain that number would spike if we threw in generalised scalp dryness!

So, you’ve got a dry, itchy scalp. But is it dandruff? You’ve probably got loads of questions here, like what causes dandruff? Who is most likely to develop it? And how can you treat dandruff or a dry scalp? Is there a difference?

The short answer is: yep, there’s a difference. And both issues are totally treatable.

What does dandruff look like?

So, dandruff is actually caused by a fungus called Malassezia globosa. Gross name, gross concept, right? But Malassezia globosa is a naturally occurring fungus that some people won’t ever have an issue with. For those of us who do, it’s the cause of dandruff symptoms when it gets out of control. See, it feeds on oils that are on our skin and hair, producing something called oleic acid. This can upset our scalp’s microbiome, irritate the skin, and cause the itching and flaking you associate with dandruff.

What does a dry scalp look like?

While there are similarities between dandruff symptoms and scalp dryness, the difference lies in the feel of your scalp and the flakes (ew). Dandruff flakes tend to be greasier and can be a yellowy colour, while dry skin will create smaller, white flakes without the excess oil. 

Also, a dry scalp will feel tight and uncomfortable, kinda like when your face feels dry if you aren’t moisturising enough. Dandruff leaves the scalp feeling greasy and can also cause redness and scaly patches.

Still, if you are concerned about what’s going on with your scalp, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a dermatologist to professionally determine what’s causing your itch.

The solution? Focus on scalp health

When it comes to dandruff, you’ll want to treat your scalp’s imbalanced microbiome. That’s why dandruff-specific hair products exist, to combat Malassezia globosa and assist in returning your scalp to full health. But a dry scalp is still in need of a microbiome reset, which is why BondiBoost’s Dandruff Repair collection is designed to be used on all scalps, not just those dealing with dandruff specifically.

Shop The Dandruff Repair Collection

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